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Water Bill Provides Key Relief for the Coast on the City

January 4, 2021


The water bill called the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 will help the nation’s coastal communities which includes Oregon. This fully funds harbor maintenance. On Monday, as the state was paying attention to the COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress. Yet Congressman Peter DeFazio was celebrating the win of this water bill. DeFazio serves as the chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Ports and Harbors: Recipients of the Funds

For Oregon’s coastal communities, this is a huge victory, DeFazio said. I have fought to unlock the Harbor Maintenance Trust and Fund for decades. I wanted to ensure the funds that are already collecting for harbor maintenance are fully utilizing to keep our local ports which are dredging and jetties therefore maintained. In fact, finally, WRDA 2020 fulfills that goal.

Therefore, our ports and harbors will have the resources they so desperately have needed. This is done without raising taxes. Additionally without adding a penny to the deficit. My bipartisan bill has been approving by both the House and the Senate.

It will create and sustain jobs on the coast. It will make conditions safer for Oregon’s commercial fishing and recreation industries. Therefore, it will boost our state and national economic competitiveness.

Water Bill: Harbor Maintenance Money Withheld

While Ronald Reagan was president, Congress is passing a small tax to fund harbor maintenance. Yet Congress has withheld some of that money. That accumulated to $10 billion.

The money was unlocked and will be spent over the next decade when the spending bill was passed. In the beginning of 2021, DeFazio said $500 million in extra funding will be released every year. The number will climb to $1 billion in the sixth year.

$3 Billion for Port Maintenance

Peter DeFazio said by unlocking the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund which is my legislation will ultimately provide up to $3 billion annually for port maintenance around the country. Then it is right here in Oregon. For small harbors, I have also successfully pushed for a 50 percent increase in funding. This includes the Port of Gold Beach and the Port of Siuslaw. There is a provision that allows harbor maintenance funds. It would be effortlessly be spent on the maintenance of adjacent marinas.

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